Jurors who convicted Derek Chauvin are identified for the first time

MINNEAPOLIS – More than six months after a jury found former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd, the identit...


MINNEAPOLIS – More than six months after a jury found former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd, the identities of the 12 jurors whose verdict sent Mr. Chauvin to jail were first released on Monday. times.

Jurors were kept away from courtroom cameras during the trial and returned home in secret each night, but several have since described the deliberations that took place in a hotel conference room. and the results of the three-week trial.

Still, half of the jury remained anonymous until Monday, after the judge who oversaw the trial ordered that all their names be released in response to a request from a coalition of media including the New York Times. Jurors whose names were first released declined to comment on Monday or could not be reached.

“Most of them really want to keep a low profile and stay behind the scenes,” Brandon Mitchell, a juror who spoke publicly about a week after the verdict April 20, said Monday. He said all jurors have kept in touch via email since the trial. “They are afraid of the unknown and of becoming a public figure instead of spending their lives in peace.

At a juror’s home, less than two miles from where Mr. Chauvin knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck, a sign was stuck to the door saying “Please don’t do it.” no press, no solicitation ”. A poster of Black Lives Matter was displayed prominently in a window of the house.

In interviews since the trial, Mr. Mitchell and several other jurors recounted how they gathered in a hotel conference room and mulled over the case for two days of deliberations, compiling lists and timelines on a whiteboard and reviewing videos and testimonials. Reports differ on the number of people who immediately bent down to vote guilty; Mr Mitchell said 11 jurors were initially ready to be sentenced on a murder charge and one was unsure, while another juror last week said up to five were initially uncertain.

In an interview with several jurors aired on CNN last week, one said she was influenced by Mr. Chauvin failing to assist Mr. Floyd as he tackled him to the ground with his knee for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

“It’s not what he did, but more or less what he didn’t do,” juror Jodi Doud told CNN. “He did not provide any rescue measures for George Floyd when he knew the guy was in pain or in need of medical attention.”

Mr. Chauvin and several other officers who have been charged in Mr. Floyd’s death responded on May 25, 2020 to a 911 call from a convenience store clerk who said Mr. Floyd had used a counterfeit $ 20 bill. to buy cigarettes. Officers took Mr. Floyd to the ground and handcuffed him, and Mr. Chauvin knelt on his neck as a group of passersby formed on the sidewalk. Several of the passers-by shouted for officers to get off Mr. Floyd, and one, Darnella frazier, took cell phone video of the scene which sparked outrage and led to protests around the world.

After the jury’s verdict, Judge Peter A. Cahill sentenced Mr. Chauvin to 22 and a half years in prison.

The court also released responses to questionnaires which were sent to hundreds of potential jurors before lawyers on both sides reduced the number of jurors to 12, as well as two substitute jurors who attended the trial but did not deliberate or vote on the verdict.

The questionnaires reveal a wide range of opinions from jurors, from across Hennepin County and between the ages of 20 and 60. Four of the jurors were black, six were white and two were multiracial; seven of the 12 were women.

In the questionnaires, they were asked about their take on everything from the Black Lives Matter movement and podcasts to how they viewed their own interactions with the police. Some checked a box indicating that they were “very satisfied” when they called the police for help, while another said they were “very dissatisfied” after asking for help. police when her purse was stolen from a bar.

Some said they read or watched the news regularly while others said they had little interest in it. “I’m not really current affairs or politics,” wrote one juror, Howard Day, who said she listened to Joe Rogan’s podcast and came across news clips on Facebook, but did not search for them elsewhere.

Yet all the jurors were able to describe many facts about Mr. Floyd’s death and the protests that rocked the city in the days that followed, a sign of how much the murder affected the area. All but one of the jurors said they saw at least part of the video showing Mr. Chauvin kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck.

When asked if they think the police treat whites and blacks equally, almost all disagreed, while all jurors said they agreed with the statement that “the police in my community make me feel safe”. They differed further over how they viewed the phrases “black lives matter” and “blue lives matter” and over whether the protests that followed Mr. Floyd’s death – which were particularly destructive in Minneapolis – had helped or harmed the city.

When asked if they wanted to be on the jury, five indicated that they wanted to be selected as jurors and six checked a box that said “I don’t know”. A woman checked both “Yes” and “I don’t know”.

In the CNN interview, several jurors fended off criticism who suggested they must have been pressured to be sentenced due to the protests in Minneapolis after Mr. Floyd’s death and the protests that followed. the fatal police shooting on another black man in a suburb of Minneapolis during the trial.

“It was not an easy task for us,” one of the jurors, Sherri Hardeman, said in the CNN interview. “I felt like it was my civic duty to move forward and represent, and a lot of people have different opinions on the verdict and the whole process, but it was not an easy task; we took it very seriously.

Jay Senter and Sheila Eldred contributed reporting from Minneapolis. Kitty bennett, Susan C. Beachy and Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Jurors who convicted Derek Chauvin are identified for the first time
Jurors who convicted Derek Chauvin are identified for the first time
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